Actually, the Windows 7 Release Candidate has arrived to much fanfare and ballyhoo. I, for one, have been looking forward to moving beyond the trials and tribulations of Vista and completely leaving behind the drollery of XP.
Of course, everyone knew just how badly Vista was mauled in the Blogosphere. The press added their considerable weight to that opinion and Apple jumped on the bandwagon and kicked Microsoft where it hurts with some sharp and edgy “Hi, I’m a Mac” commercials. (Well done, Apple.) All this left the Vista OS in a shambles. Even though many of the original Vista sins were fixed (eventually) and it has matured into a pretty stable operating system, the PR damage has remained and the public mindset hasn’t been altered in the slightest.
In what appears to be a surrender of sorts, Microsoft pulled in a brand new design team and over a period of months have been refining the Windows 7 OS. Released to the tech community is BETA form, the response from pundits, observers and those in the know has been overwhelmingly positive. Because Windows 7 looks remarkably like Vista, many say this is what Vista should have been from the very beginning. For me, I’ve been waiting for a chance to try out this new better OS.
My chance arrived with the Windows 7 Release Candidate going public. I actually grabbed a BETA key when they were available but never installed the product; however, the RC is essentially a, and probably the, release candidate. With a spring in my step and some renewed confidence, I downloaded and installed the OS. Been about five days and despite one catatrophic failure which was caused by me mistakenly installing two AV products on the same rig (long story), the OS is rock solid, quick, and very neat.
The much talked-about task bar is different but actually quite elegant to use. The simplified notification manager is very nice, and I keep bumping into great little additions here and polishing there. So far, I must rate this OS as quite worthy for consideration. My RC install is good for about 10 months, which is about right based on my proclivities toward OS reformat. From that point, I’ll be purchasing this software for real. First time I’ve actually wanted to go bleeding edge on a Microsoft OS; normally I wait until the first service pack is out but not with Windows 7. From where I sit, I think we finally have a winner.